USCG Approves AMHS LeConte Plan
The U.S. Coast Guard approved an operating schedule for the M/V LeConte that would comply with its "835" directive concerning work-rest rules aboard the ship. Under the changes proposed by the Alaska Marine Highway System, the LeConte would operate on a day boat schedule seven days per week beginning June 9. The ship would continue to be homeported in Juneau where it would make crew changes and take on fuel, water and stores in the evenings. The LeConte was previously assigned the Northern Panhandle run from Juneau to Petersburg with stops in Angoon, Hoonah, Kake, Pelican, Sitka and Tenakee Springs. Under the day boat schedule, the LeConte will make trips from Juneau to Hoonah three times a week with long layovers in Hoonah once a week to allow contract vessels serving Pelican and Gustavus to connect passengers with the return trip to Juneau. The contract vessels will stop in Pelican one week and Gustavus the next. The LeConte would also make two stops per week in Tenakee during its Hoonah trip. The four remaining days would be divided between round trips from Juneau to Angoon and Juneau to Haines. In addition, the M/V Taku will add stops in Kake and Hoonah to its schedule.
The proposal approved by the Coast Guard has been forwarded to the three maritime unions. Operation of the LeConte as a day boat requires changes to the union contract that must be negotiated. The "835" directive was issued March 13 and AMHS had been given until May 5 to submit a plan that provides for significant rest periods for LeConte crewmembers. (Source: SitNews)